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torstai 3. maaliskuuta 2016

Malady - S/T

Svart Records ‎(SVR403)

Malady is a new Finnish group certainly obsessed with old early 70s Finnish progressive rock bands like Haikara, Elonkorjuu (both mentioned in the opening track...), Wigwam, Tasavallan Presidentti etc. Like most of their influences, they sing in Finnish.  I am also immediately thinking about the similarities to Sammal, their contemporaries in this field and also recording for Svart Records. But that's not a bad thing: there's obviously room and market for more bands like this with genuine vintage progressive vibe and some psychedelic spices thrown in the mix! This self-titled album is the Helsinki-based band's debut and works really well. The album has gotten a warm welcome from the prog rock fanatics and the first vinyl pressing is already sold-out from the label.

The 39-minute album has six original compositions, two of which are instrumentals. I really like both the instrumentals and the songs with vocals, and the singer has a soft, emotional voice that fits perfectly the mostly atmospheric and never too hard, heavy or difficult to digest music. I'm not saying this is all sweet, dreamy and soft, it has some tougher, more progressive and energetic parts as well and some wild organ and guitar solos which is cool. The playing is excellent and the sound just perfect for this kind of music.The instrumentation is what you might have expected: guitar, bass, drums and Hammond organ plus keyboards so nothing out of the ordinary there, but that's really all it needs to make pleasant, evocative and adventurous vintage prog. The album is finished with the short, beautiful acoustic instrumental "Kakarlampi" that also has some folk vibes. My favourite track is maybe the opener "Kantaa taakan maa" that I also included in my latest Astral Visions show, but the material really is very strong throughout with no fillers. I have not seen this band live yet but I bet they will be awesome. Check them out if you are into early 70s styled, well-crafted high-quality prog rock!

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